A Palestinian waste treatment initiative supported by the EU-funded SwitchMed programme has won a $5,000 award to push ahead with their project. Green entrepreneur team Heba, Nadia and Nareman from the Palestine Polytechnic University won the Jadara Initiative award for their project “Treating waste by waste” – an innovative wastewater treatment system for the tannery industry to eliminate environmental pollution from both leather tanning wastewater and stone cutting solid waste, improving surrounding public health and the environment.
The team of environmental engineers – Nareman Zahde, Nadia l’Qefan and Heba Dweik – was supported by SwitchMed‘s special incubation support plan. The award will help them to make the prototype of their device.
“The SwitchMed incubation phase has been very fruitful for our project since it provided us expert support to design this integrated treatment unit which led us to an award in the Jadara initiative competition,” said Nareman.
The Jadara Initiative aims to help students and graduates of Palestinian universities in the Hebron district to launch their own startup enterprises, offering annual awards for the best innovative business ideas and pilot projects.
Thanks to this support, the Treating Waste by Waste project will be launched within this year, hiring at least 3 people, for the benefit of the Palestinian economy, and tackling a major environmental threat related to the most dangerous industrial waste.
The SwitchMed sustainable consumption and production programme aims to promote a switch by the Mediterranean economies towards sustainable consumption and production patterns and green economy, including low-emission development, through demonstration and dissemination of methods that improve resource and energy efficiency. It also seeks to minimise the environmental impacts associated with the life cycle of products and services and, where possible, to promote renewable energy.